The Coronavirus pandemic has hit many industries hard, and none more so than arts and culture.
Yet despite these lockdown struggles the arts have flourished in Merseyside and tonight’s Liverpool City Region Culture and Creativity awards highlight that.
The awards seek to highlight the important work that people and organisations do in ensuring that creativity flourishes in Liverpool.
For many of the nominees it is getting recognition for the hard work that they have done in making Liverpool a capital of culture.
One of the nominees for this year’s awards is Writing on the Wall, a Liverpool based writing organisation.
Madeline Heneghan and Mike Morris, the co-directors of Writing on the Wall, are responsible for running the organisation.
Ms Heneghan said: “I think the central plank of what we do is that that involvement in writing and creativity can transform lives and transform communities.”
“I think that was no truer than during lockdown when people really did need some form of alternative engagement.”
The organisation runs a large number of community writing projects throughout the year alongside a month-long writing festival in May. But the pandemic has meant that these have had to run online and be adapted very quickly.
Mr Morris said: “I think that our team adapted collectively very well.”
“Using technology has actually worked very well and we’ve delivered about 164 events online last year.”
And the organisation has not simply moved itself online but has also tried to get many in the community online.
Ms Heneghan said: “We’ve also been able to provide those who don’t have the technology with access to that, things like tablets and laptops and internet connections.”
Mr Morris added: “Our team have really gone the extra mile to make sure that has happened.”
Both are very proud of their nominations in the Culture and Creativity awards.
Mr Morris said: “Well I would say it’s a really proud moment for us to be shortlisted for three awards.”
“We want to celebrate it for ourselves, regardless of whether we win, but also for the whole community and all of the arts and culture organisations that have responded during this time.”
Ms Heneghan added: “For me it’s the recognition of Writing on the Wall but also of the staff team. They’re a young, dynamic team and they’ve worked incredibly hard throughout the period.”
Both are also confident of the wider impact of the awards in bring attention to the arts in Liverpool.
Ms Heneghan said: “I feel like there’s been a real buzz around the city, not just around the cultural sector but well outside that.
“I think it really does shine a spotlight upon the sector and a very deserved spotlight really.”
Whilst the arts have largely suffered under lockdown restrictions, these awards show that Liverpool remains a centre of culture.
You can find out more about Writing on the Wall here
Register to watch the Culture and Creativity awards tonight from seven here
(Photo courtesy of Christopher Czermak)